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Spyker unveil Ferrari-powered F8-VII 05 Feb 2007

The Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII. Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII Studio Shoot, Silverstone, England, 5 February 2007. © Spyker L-R: Markus Winkelhock (GER), Adrian Valles (ESP), Giedo van der Garde (NL), Fairuz Fauzy (MAL). Spyker Formula One Team. Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII Studio Shoot, Silverstone, England, 5 February 2007. © Spyker The Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII. Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII Studio Shoot, Silverstone, England, 5 February 2007. © Spyker The Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII. Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII Studio Shoot, Silverstone, England, 5 February 2007. © Spyker Adrian Sutil (GER) and Christijan Albers (NED), Spyker Formula One Team. Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII Studio Shoot, Silverstone, England, 5 February 2007. © Spyker

Spyker officially launched their 2007 car and drivers at Silverstone in the UK on Monday. Team principal Colin Kolles presented the new challenger, the F8-VII, along with race drivers Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil and their recently-announced testers.

Following Spyker’s purchase of the team (formerly Midland) late last season, Kolles predicted 2007 will be a ‘transition year’, with a focus in the early part on improved reliability and performance, before a big step forward with a revised B-spec car towards the second part of the season.

“We know that the first half of the season could be challenging for the team, but with the stability that Spyker has brought with it, we’ve got a real direction and focus now,” Kolles explained. “We know that Spyker want to make the project work, and we’ve already set about making changes to turn the team around. One of the first steps was to bring in Mike Gascoyne to lead the technical team and help give the direction we need.”

Chief technical officer, Gascoyne, added, “Since I arrived at Spyker three months ago, I’ve been looking carefully at the technical department to put in place the personnel, procedures and resources that will give the team structure; already we’ve doubled our aerodynamic resources with a second wind tunnel and dedicated team in Italy.

"As a team we’re looking at planning for the future through a more structured approach by prioritising key aspects that will give a big improvement rather than small, gradual steps. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the changes in the second half of the season when we deliver an improved B-spec package.”

On the driver front, 27 year-old Dutchman Albers remains with the team for a further year. After impressing with his speed and determination in 2006, he is hoping the team can turn his ambition into results in 2007.

“As a driver I always drive to the maximum, but in 2006 I could not when always show the best I could do,” he said. “I’ve worked closely with the team over the winter to help highlight the areas we need to improve and I’m pretty confident that in the second half of the year we’ll start to see the improvements. Having Mike on board and additional resources shows everyone we’re serious about progressing. There’s already been some exciting developments and we’ll start seeing even more over the second half of the year.”

Albers will be joined by Adrian Sutil in the race line-up. Sutil competed in the F3 EuroSeries alongside McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in 2002 before winning the 2003 Japanese Formula 3 title. The 24-year-old German completed Friday testing duties with the team in 2006 and is now looking forward to his first Grand Prix start.

“It’s a great feeling. For sure it’s very nice to be a real part of the team as a race driver,” he said. “My aim is to work with the team and progress with them to the next level. I want to help develop the car more and help to go forward. I also want to learn the circuits and get to know the F1 business as much as I can. It’s not just the driving, it’s the pressure and the press too, but it’s all a new experience so I’ll take everything step by step. First, I really want to get going and get some real mileage under my belt.”

Spyker also presented their test and reserve driver line-up for the 2007 season. Fairuz Fauzy, 24 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, competed in GP2 last season and is supported by a host of Malaysian companies. He will complete Friday duties at a selection of this year’s Grands Prix. Giedo van der Garde, from Rhenen, Netherlands is graduating as an F3 Euroseries race winner to be a test and Friday driver (assuming any dispute with Super Aguri over his services is resolved), while Adrian Valles from Alicante, Spain, runner-up in the 2005 World Series by Renault championship and GP2 contender, and Markus Winkelhock will be the test and development drivers for the season. Winkelhock remains with Spyker for a further season after impressing in the 2006 Friday sessions.

The team’s preparations for the season continue on Tuesday with an exclusive two-day shakedown at Silverstone.